Ceramics for Environmental Research

Technical Ceramics are used in many forms of research as they are inert, electrically insulating, don’t outgas to contaminate an experiment, mechanically stable, and many can be used to very high temperatures.

Most research experiments are conducted in vacuum or ultra high vacuum to reduce the chance of error from the surrounding atmosphere, even in a clean environment. The creation of a vacuum also requires a shell that does not contaminate the experiment – generally a 316-grade stainless steel – which requires power and samples for the experiment to be either placed inside the shell or power to pass through it, but still being insulated from the metal by a ceramic.

The experiments can require the whole vacuum chamber to be heated to remove any chance of contaminant. Technical Ceramics within the vacuum provide electrical insulation which is assisted by the vacuum itself, especially where high voltages may be required.

Heaters, insulators, quadrupole saddles, spacers, tubes, ceramic sample holders, crucibles, isolators are often used in these systems.

Technical Ceramics such as Alumina, Shapal Hi-M Soft (a machinable Aluminum Nitride or AlN), pure Aluminum Nitride, Boron Nitrides and in some cases, different grades of Zirconia can be used within the vacuum envelope. 

The wide variety of materials offered, each with subtle differences, can be seen in our materials comparison chart, where a range of properties can be explored.